and then there’s a bump…

Earlier this week I wrote a post about how great I was doing with my eye surgery recovery and that I was on my way to kicking keratoconus’ ass…well, that damn eye disease decided it wanted to have the last laugh and swung back at me…UGH!

At my post-op appointment on Tuesday I found out that what I believed was just a change in my astigmatism (which I thought would account for the extreme blurriness in my left eye even with my glasses on) is actually a blind spot that has developed since my surgery…yeah, cue panic, terror and unbridled fear here. I have to tell you, I literally FREAKED OUT after my surgeon told me this (even though she said it shouldn’t be permanent), and have had a really hard time bouncing back. I consider myself a pretty positive person who really tries to focus on the good in every situation, but I have been SO down since my appointment and am really letting fear take over my sensibilities.

I think it’s very natural to go to a worst case scenario place when we’re faced with a serious obstacle in our lives. Whether it’s the end of a relationship, a struggle at work or a health issue, it is so incredibly easy to sink down into that pit of despair and not know how we’re going to get out of it. I immediately went into victim mode, feeling SO sorry for myself – like here I am with all these awful things that have happened to me, and now I’m going blind on top of it all…I think at one point I even said to myself “well, at least I saw the mountains before I went blind”…like seriously, how does it even get to this point so quickly?!

I’m all about taking time to work through sadness when it comes, but I’m not okay with allowing myself to get all crazy angsty about something that has not even happened yet. Why have I just resigned myself to blindness (for those of you wondering how I’m writing this post, just imagine me wearing an eye patch and it’ll all make sense…gulp)?! My surgeon told me I have a blind spot that should clear up, not that blindness was inevitable, so why is it so easy to conjure up this doomed fate in my mind?  It’s that damned fear that comes knocking whenever hardships arise…it can creep in slowly, or hit us with a sucker punch all at once, but it’s always there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for weak moments. Knowing that, and making the choice every day to choose light and love and happiness instead of darkness and hate and anger, is the only way to combat fear and not let it take over our lives.

So tonight, I will go to bed and be grateful for my perfectly healed eyes, and tomorrow morning I will wake up and meditate and give gratitude for my perfectly healed eyes, and every time that fear comes around, I’m going to make the conscious decision to give it the old heave ho. I’m going to have gratitude for not only what I HAVE in my life, but what I want to MANIFEST into my life, and right now that means a pair of healthy eyeballs!

There’s a part in this amazing book I love (Zen and the Art of Happiness) that basically says, it’s easy to be happy and positive during the good times, but it takes real tenacity to be happy and positive through the rough times. Here’s to not giving up, and staying tenacious – I’ll update you on my peeper situation as developments come! XO

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oh, the beauty of healing…

First things first, I CAN SEE!! Clearly my eye surgery was successful, and in spite of some seriously traumatic procedures (while awake, I shudder to remember), my pain has mostly gone and I’m well on my way to giving keratoconus the big eff you. WOOHOO!!

On the topic of my surgery though, it was kind of an eye opening (pun not intended, I swear!) week. I’ll start by saying that I am SO SO SO LUCKY. I honestly have the loveliest parents in the world who let me stay with them for 5 days, and took better care of me than I could have ever imagined. I was out of my mind in pain, being a crazy person demanding instant cold compresses and requiring my 5 sets of eye drops be put in in complete darkness (MAJOR light sensitivity) lol, but they stuck by me and did an amazing job as caretakers. I had tons and tons of messages from friends wishing me well on my surgery, and sending me messages afterwards to see how I’d made out (and my lovely mother dutifully replied to each one), and even had some friends come and keep me company bedside – like I said, so incredibly lucky.

Now I’m sure you can feel me building to something here, so I’ll just get on with it. Despite all the incredible loveliness I experienced while recovering from my procedure, I really really missed my ex-husband…I know, right?!?!?! I feel like I haven’t gone out of my way to speak ill of him on my blog here, mostly just written posts in frustration and anger, but I also haven’t spent a lot of time talking about his good qualities either. My ex was a really, really great caregiver. When I first got diagnosed with my psoriatic arthritis, he stepped right up to the plate and cooked and cleaned and helped me when I couldn’t move…it was probably what I loved the most about him – how caring he was.  So I think going through the surgery and recovery last week, and not having a partner to care for me, kind of had me all nostalgic and a bit sad.  Like I said above, my parents did an amazing job, but there’s just something different about the care from a partner  – it radiates a special kind of love. It was just another reminder that no matter how far along in our healing process we are when coming out of a break up or divorce, it can only take one event or even one second to be knocked back a step or two.

Now most of you know me well enough by now to know that when I’m knocked down, I shed a few tears and pick myself up and carry forward, and this time was no different. I had a tough, emotional week, but I think what it made me realize (as these times often do), is that being alone and working on myself right now just means that when I do eventually meet my next partner, I’ll be in the very best place possible to have a loving, caring and trust-filled relationship, and honestly, how freaking exciting is that?! Okay, lots more excitement to catch you up on later this week, but for now I will leave you feeling  very grateful for the eyes that helped me write this post, and the amazing people I have in my life. XO

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Trust your path…

I’ve got this eye disease called keratoconus. I don’t talk about it much because I’m usually writing more about my psoriatic arthritis, but I’m having eye surgery this morning and having some thoughts about it, so writing therapy it is!

Keratoconus is a degenerative condition, where your cornea cones and breaks down until essentially you require corneal transplants or blindness ensues – pretty scary, right?! Fortunately there is a relatively new surgery available called cross-linking that halts the progression of the disease, and I’ve been fortunate enough to qualify as part of a study to have it done free of any costs…today!

Needless to say, I’ve been freaking out all weekend in preparation for the procedure because the unknown can be really scary! What side effects could there be, how painful will it be (very, apparently), and will my eyes look the same afterwards are just a few of the questions that were plaguing me on Friday when I basically had a panic driven breakdown. I wanted to cancel the surgery, and stick my head in the sand, ignoring the very real long-term consequences of what not having this procedure could mean. 

In the height of my panic though, I decided to try something new. Well, not new new as you’ll know from reading my blog, but instead of choosing flight from fear, I decided to fight it with gratitude. It’s so easy to forget how lucky I am to live in a country where healthcare is free. Where I can qualify for an $8,000 procedure with no out of pocket expense, and I needed to sit with those thoughts instead of the panic I was feeling. I needed to get excited about my fear. 

Trusting the path that his been laid out for us isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding because everything will be perfect and turn out just as its meant to be. Seriously, it always will. 

So I’ll be on radio silence for a few days as I recover, but will be back to regale you with more stories in no time 🙂 XO


Old timey advice…

I always find it so interesting how relevant works from hundreds of years ago can still be today.  Whether it’s Shakespeare, Twain, or Wallace Wattles, there are treasures inked on paper that are as timeless as the people who wrote them. As you know, I’m currently taking a course with the incomparable Jen Sincero, and she provided us with a list of ‘Life-Changing Resources’ a few weeks back.  This list is a veritable pot of gold containing countless books and websites, so I decided to buy 15 of them (yes, crazy I know!) so that I can dive into higher learning.  A few of the books are real old-timey numbers, including the one that I started today called “The Game of Life and How to Play It” by Florence Scovel Shinn.

This little book was written in 1925, but it has seriously knocked me off my feet.  Or maybe the more appropriate way to describe its impact, is to say that it opened my eyes even further to a concept that has really been resonating with me over the past year.  That concept is how the power of our spoken word and inner belief system can truly create the life we desire (or consequently manifest all our worst fears). I remember the first time I heard the concept of manifesting dreams cross my consciousness, I thought it was insane.  Like who could actually believe they had the power to create their own destiny?! Not this girl!! Wellllll, I guess that attitude was really the whole problem, wasn’t it lol?!

As I’ve delved into self-help literature over the past year and a half or so, the one recurring theme has been the power of our mind to bring our greatest dreams to fruition. It’s a practice that takes daily work, and brings more regression than anything else I’ve ever done. It is HARD to change the way you think, y’all!! We are a real programmed bunch of people here on earth, and sometimes it’s really scary to think about BIG, GOOD things because we’re always so busy preparing for the worst. The greatest lesson to be learned from this very brief look at the power of our minds is that we need to be positive, happy, big hairy audacious goal dreaming humans, as much as we possibly can 🙂

So I guess the key takeaway here is that you NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! It’s heavily laden with scripture and references to God, but once you get past that (if that’s something you need to get past), there are so many amazing nuggets of wisdom and beautiful mantras inside these pages, that it’s a piece I know I’ll read over and over again XO

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Rally strong…

Today I want to talk about the importance of your TRIBE. That group of people in your life that keep you going through the down times, who lift you up and make you remember how strong you are, and the people you call your family. They can be your real family – parents, siblings, cousins – or they can be your chosen family, friends who have lasted the test of time, and who have seen you through your best (and worst) days.

During challenging times in our life, it can be so easy to internalize and cocoon ourselves into solitude. We can stop returning messages, stop reaching out to people, cancel social engagements (or not make them at all), and generally disappear from the world outside ourselves. I remember there being times after my husband left that I wanted to literally melt into my couch and never leave the safety of my apartment. There were other times (for me, to be honest, this was most times) when I needed to be surrounded by people who loved me, supported me, listened to me and who reassured me that I was going to be OKAY. That no matter how dark the world seemed in those low, low moments, I would get through it, and that life would (eventually) be better on the other side.

Now, I’ve changed a lot over the past two years, and have become a huge proponent of the importance of alone time. I think we can learn a lot from introspective thinking and taking time to work through life’s challenges on our own, BUT that doesn’t mean that turning into ourselves to escape dealing with our issues is the answer. Last night, a friend reached out to share some hard news that will change her life forever. Within 5 minutes a group of girls who all have very busy lives (but have been friends for decades) rallied together to set a date to get together this weekend. Because we are a TRIBE. Because we love each other. And because one of us needs support. These are the moments when I know that having these kind of people in our lives – this soul family – is more important than we realize at times. Find your tribe, let them fan the flames of your soul, and love them hard. XO

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